Havah la gila, havaaaaah la gila!
- Joel, Crow & Tom (singing to tune of Hava Nagila)

The Movie[]

Main article: The Giant Gila Monster (film)


A giant lizard terrorizes a rural community.

The Episode[]

Host Segments[]

Prologue: Crow and Tom Servo are The Thing with Two Heads. At first they hate it, but then they realize they’re "The Odd Couple 1999." But just when they begin to get into it, Joel nips it in the bud.

Segment One (Invention Exchange): Frank announces Dr. Clayton Forrester's death! It turns out Dr. F isn’t really dead, but very mad at Frank. Joel has a radio with a tuner that only picks up channels from old sitcoms and movies. The Mads demonstrate their Renaissance Festival punching bags.


Crow and Tom Servo are 'The Thing with Two Heads.'

Segment Two: Joel has turned a spare closet into a teen pavilion/barbershop as seen in the film. Crow and Tom keep calling Joel a "stupid jerk" instead of a "soda jerk" and being generally insulting. After they order a "Blue Floyd" (a drink made with ice cream, malted milk, and Barbicide) Joel becomes fed up with them and their antics. Then Gypsy shows up and the whole set falls down.

MST3K-Broadcast Editions 402-The Giant Gila Monster 6 13 1992 33-8 screenshot

Gypsy accidentally tears down the set.

Segment Three: The crew celebrates the classic drunks, and Crow asks, "When did public intoxication stop being funny?", discussing drunks such as Crazy Guggenheim and Dean Martin. Then Joel and the bots act out vignettes of different types of drunks, which ends up turning into an after-school special.


Joel as a "funny" drunk.

Segment Four: "Servo on Cinema" looks at Ray Kellogg’s "Leg Up" blocking technique. Joel and Crow cannot resist butting in.


Fan Drawing of "Art"

Segment Five: The rock group Hee-La rehearses until Crow asks, "Aren’t we just doing the same stuff we did when we were SpiDorr?" The first letter is from a little girl who thinks Crow’s name is 'Art.' The second letter says, "'Dear Joe and Bots: I just like the way Tom Serbo sings, my favorite robot is Crow, but Joe is funny too.' And it’s signed... TV’s Frank?!" Frank celebrates his short-lived victory in Deep 13 as Dr. F looks on in disgust.

Stinger: Drunken old Harris gags on sody pop at the soda shop

MST3K Cast[]

Regular Cast

Guest Cast


  • The letter calling Crow "Art" references back to Jungle Goddess, specifically the "My White Goddess" sketch that referred to Crow as "Art Crow" at the end. That sketch and this letter later became the source of the running gag of Pearl Forrester constantly referring to Crow as "Art".
  • This episode became infamous in the 1995-1996 period on Comedy Central, as a number of other episodes dropped out of the rotation due to movie rights issues. The movie in this episode is in public domain, which meant that CC could play it often without any kind of licensing costs.
  • This episode provides the origin of the “I sing whenever I sing whenever I sing” reference that would be made in many future episodes.
  • John Carney appears at the end of the list of writers—he would not appear again.
  • Bridget Jones is added to the list of writers for the remainder of the season.
  • This was the final episode to feature the "Turn Down Your Lights (Where Applicable)" screen before the opening credits.
  • This episode aired seventh during Turkey Day '92, and third during Turkey Day '94.


Obscure References[]

  • “Hava la gila! Hava la gila!”

Refers to the song "Hava Nagila".

  • "Oranges Schmoranges. Who cares! There ain't no rhyme for oranges."

Oranges Schmoranges is a song sung by Witchiepoo and her henchmen, disguised at the singing group "The Three Oranges", in the H.R. Puffnstuff episode "Show Biz Witch".

  • "Only you can prevent forest fires."

“Remember... Only YOU can prevent forest fires.” was Smokey Bear's slogan from 19472001 for the Wildfire Prevention Campaign.

  • "I'm your boyfriend now! Blehlehlehlehleh..."

Referring to the "Tongue Phone Call" scene from A Nightmare on Elm Street.

  • “Bad movie? You’re soaking in it!”

Refers to a series of Palmolive dish detergent commercials featuring Madge the manicurist in which she reveals to her client that her (the client's) fingers have been inserted in said Palmolive.  [1]

  • "Hey here comes Sabrina and the Groovie Goolies!"

The Groovie Goolies is a cartoon produced by Filmation Studios that was also a spin-off of Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

  • Whenever Mr. Harris pulls up in his car Joel and the bots start humming the theme to The Munsters, because Harris' car resembles the Munsters' family car (which was custom built from 3 Model Ts).
  • "My little deuce coupe? You don't know what I got!"

Referring to the main lyrics of "Little Deuce Coupe" by The Beach Boys.

  • "Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path...",

From Chapter 5 of the book Alcoholics Anonymous, often referred to as the "Big Book," by Willam G. "Bill W." Wilson, one of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous.

  • "Is it safe!?"

Famous line uttered by Laurence Olivier in his role as Szell the White Angel from the movie Marathon Man.

  • "Now let's go rent The Errand Boy."

The Errand Boy is a Jerry Lewis film. The joke refers to the stereotype that French people are especially fond of Jerry Lewis and his movies.

  • "Tip-toe through the tulips!"

Refers to the 1926 song "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" which was later popularized in 1968 by the eccentric falsetto singer and ukulele player Tiny Tim.

  • "NEW YORK CITY?!?" "Get the rope."

Refers to the Pace salsa commercials popular at the time, where the cowboy cook was using salsa from New York City and not "authentic" salsa.

  • "Let's go do some crimes!"

A line from the movie Repo Man.

  • "Go on home, they're waiting for you!"

A line spoken by Mr. Potter in It's a Wonderful Life, whom Mr. Wheeler resembles both in appearance and attitude.

  • "What is this, The Misfits all of a sudden?

The Misfits was a 1961 film starring Clark Gable, Eli Wallach, Marilyn Monroe, and Montgomery Clift. In the film, Wallach is a mechanic who is friends with a cowboy.

  • "Hello, I'm Larry Miller." and later "Did I ever tell you about the six levels of drinking?"

Larry Miller is a successful comedian and actor. At the time, he resembled Don Flournoy (the young actor playing Gordy), though Miller has since lost a great deal of his hair. One of his most well-known routines described the Six Stages of a night of drinking.


(from left) Don Florunoy as Gordy, Larry Miller, Tige Andrews

  • "Tige Andrews!" "No, we've already decided he's Larry Miller."

Calling back to the previous joke, Flournoy also resembles actor Tige Andrews, who had starred on the TV series The Detectives and The Mod Squad, among other roles.

  • "It's The Wages of Fear!"

The Wages of Fear is a 1953 thriller film (based on a novel) about four desperate men who sign on for a suicide mission to drive trucks loaded with nitroglycerin over a treacherous mountain route.

  • "That's not right, picking up your mom and playing football with her! That's wrong! Crazy people!"

Joel is imitating the late comedian Kevin Meaney, whose act often consisted of mimicking his mother over-reacting to some perceived danger.

  • "There might be giants."

They Might Be Giants is an American alternative rock band formed in 1982.

  • "Bobby Goldsboro?"

Bobby Goldsboro is a singer-songwriter who had an easy listening hit song in 1968 entitled "Honey".

Video Release[]

  • GiantDVD
    Commercially released on DVD by Rhino Entertainment in February 2008 as a "replacement" for Godzilla vs. Megalon in Volume 10 as part of The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Volume 10.2, a 4-DVD set with Swamp Diamonds, Teen-Age Strangler, and The Giant Spider Invasion. The episode was also released individually in February 2008 as a limited-time-offer for those who already bought Volume 10. Since Rhino lost the rights to release MST3K, Volume 10.2 is out-of-print.
    • Re-released in March 2019 by Shout! Factory.
      • DVD special features include the 10.2 Upgrade (see below), a photo gallery, an interview with Don Sullivan, and two bonus Don Sullivan songs.
  • A special feature on the DVD is a new sketch instructing viewers on how to dispose of their Godzilla vs. Megalon DVD (Referred to as "blah blah vs blah blah" by TV's Frank) in the box set and replace it with The Giant Gila Monster. The segment featured Joel Hodgson, Trace Beaulieu, and Frank Conniff reprising their roles from the series (in front of a green screen effect of the SOL Bridge and Deep 13). Frank provided the voice of Tom Servo. It is, to date, the last time Joel has appeared as his TV character outside of live shows.
  • Available for rent or purchase on Amazon's streaming service.